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  1. The new commission’s focus is to execute a successful 2018 KZN Enduro and Downhill Series, as well as aiding and assisting local venues with the hosting and implementation of Gravity events throughout the year. The new KZNGRAVITY commission will be spearheaded by three avid KZN riders, bringing back the motto “Operated By Riders, For Riders!” Chairman – Nigel Hicks Nige has made an indelible impression on the South African Downhill scene, it’s hard not understand why when you find out he’s been racing Downhill at national and regional level since 1992 and was Masters World Champion (30 – 34) in 2013.Since 2010 he has had a large hand in making the KZNMTB series a success. And a large spade. And a hoe. And a rake. And like one million kilometres of tape. And a depressing amount of leave days. Further to this Nige brings to the table the experience of organising, managing and building the 2011 to 2014 World Cup and World Championship Downhill Events held at Cascades Bike Park. Logistics Manager - Kathryn Fourie Kath is from Howick in KZN, and lives a hop and skip (or a fast uphill pedal) from some of the best trails in the country. Her interest in riding has resulted in her position as a project manager of the Sappi Mountain Biking Project, which she enjoys thoroughly.Kath has been riding bikes since 2011-ish, and was fooled into doing DH at the beginning of 2012 and somehow continued doing it even after falling on her head numerous times. Kath has two (that’s right TWO) Downhill World Championship bronze medals to her name from 2013 and 2015. Treasurer – Alistair Brand Al has been involved in all forms of cycling from, Road to Track, XCO, Enduro and DH since about 2011. Having served on the commission in 2017 Alistair continues on in the role of Treasurer – making sure that your entry fees go to making each round GREAT.Alistair’s focus is on growing the sport in the youth and sub-junior categories to bring in new talent to raise the future pinners of the sport. 2018 Series and Championship Rounds The 2018 series will incorporate 3 rounds with a standalone KZN Championships Event to round out the season. The three Series rounds will take place at 4 venues around KZN. With a split back to the 2-day format, with Enduro held on the Saturday and Downhill on the Sunday.ENDURO R1 – 3 March 2018 - Round 1 of the Enduro Series kicks off on the 3rd March 2018 hosted by Howick MTB Club as part of their Howick MTB Classic event. Howick MTB Club is one of the oldest clubs in the Country, and its trail network has been around for more than 25 years. The focus for Howick is always to present the best flow and gnar on natural singletracks in the SAPPI forestry plantations that encompass the Natal Midlands town. DH R1 – 4 March 2018 – As has been the case for the past 4 years, the season opener for DH will take place on the 4th March 2018 the beginner-friendly St Ives track at St Ives Lodge and Boma in the picturesque Natal Midlands. The venue is great for spectating with 90% viewing coverage of the track whilst also taking in the game and stunning panoramas from the St Ives Venue. ENDURO R2 – 28 April 2018 - Round 2 of the series sees the inclusion of the epic trails at Cascades Bike Park in PMB, built by Olympic XCO Track designer Nick Floros. Having a variety of steep and technical trails interspersed with flowy bike park lines this round will have something for everyone – including the CLIMBERS – be sure to be fit for this one as the trails take in the greatest elevation changes of the season. DH R2 – 29 April 2018 – Cascades MTB Park DH needs no introduction. The site of the infamous 2013 World Championships where the internet was nearly broken by the advent of prototype wagon-wheel DH bikes which has set the scene for technological progression in the last 5 years. A multitude of options are available for use at the venue and the track will be decided closer to the time – but one thing is sure – it’s going to be FAST and STEEP! ENDURO R3 – 16 June 2018 – Round 3 sees the welcome return of Karkloof MTB Club who will host the final stop of the series. One of the go-to riding destinations in SA, Karkloof are back on board and hungry to throw up some great trails following on from the Karkloof Classic event that will be held a month prior to the KZN round. This link between the 2 events will give new riders a chance to practice and get used to the style of trails before the KZN Series round. DH R3 – 17 June 2018 – Karkloof DH track, the invention of none other than master trail builder Hylton Turvey will be utilised for the final stop of the KZN Series in 2018. This track has an amazing pedigree and will once again produce some amazing racing in the SAPPI forests around Karkloof. ENDURO CHAMPS – 14 July 2018 – Giba Gorge once again plays host to what will surely be an exciting end to the years racing. With new trails continually being opened in the park, this event is one not to be missed as it will likely throw in many a curve, berm, ski-jump, bank and a drop or two, before a well-deserved beer and party at the fantastic Giba Trail Centre. A true MTB Festival Weekend awaits. DH CHAMPS – 15 July 2018 – Giba Gorge has been a stalwart of KZN Gravity racing for almost a decade, and is therefore a worthy host for the KZN Champs round for 2018. As for the DH Track – discussions are underway with the potential for something new, and STEEP … keep listening for updates. KZN GRAVITY as well as KZNMTB dates are shown below:
  2. In a bold move, it has been decided that KZNMTB will split for 2018, separating KZNGRAVITY into a standalone commission that will report directly to CyclingKZN. In order to assist in this transition phase, KZNMTB have graciously offered financial support to the newly created commission for the upcoming 2018 season. Click here to view the article
  3. Following the recent decision by Cycling SA not to fund South African teams travelling to international competitions, the KZN and WP Commissions have offered R50 000 and R30 000 respectively to support riders to represent their country in Cairns from September 5-10. Bianca Haw is a KZN Cycling member who has been selected for the South African MTB team to go to the World Championships. Liam Whitfield / Hill 2 Hill Tiffany Keep is a junior KZN Cycling member who has been selected for the South African MTB team to go to the World Championships. Liam Whitfield / Hill 2 Hill Eight of the 18 riders selected for the South African team are from KwaZulu-Natal. The KZN MTB Commission has decided the money will be donated to the entire team so riders and support staff from all the provinces are able to benefit from the donation."We take great pleasure in being able to support the team," said Ian Smith, the KZN MTB Commission chairperson. "Good governance and financial controls has enabled us to be in a position to help the team. "We would hate to have riders being forced to withdraw from the chance of representing their country because they do not have any funds and so we felt it was important to help the entire team. "I think there will still be a shortfall for the entire tour so I anticipate riders still having to contribute privately, but hopefully our help will ensure the full team can represent the country." More information on the KZN MTB Commission can be found at www.facebook.com/KZNMTB For more information contact Dellah Paul 082Â 781 5656. Rio Olympian Alan Hatherly, pictured here winning the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, is a former KZN rider who will receive support from the KZN MTB to go to the World Champs. KZN MTB
  4. KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series Elite Men's winner and defending champion Stuart Marais (centre, front) will be heading to Aloe Wildlife Estate to battle it out at the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial Championships on Saturday 24 June. Gavin Ryan/QuickPix Defending Champ and overall 2017 Cup Series Elite Men’s winner, Stuart Marais, will be heading to the trails with guns blazing ready to battle it out with some of the province’s best cross-country fanatics. Other names to look out for are those Cup Series winners such as Master Men’s winner Andrew Mackinnon and Grand Master Women’s winner Francis Marsburg. Cian Leveridge and Tiffany Keep always give their all in the Junior category and Sub Junior overall winner Chloe Bateson has had an impressive season so far. Travis Stedman and Sabine Thies have wracked up top honours in the Youth Categories. A name to look out for in the Youth category, Sabine Thies, will be in action at the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial Championships at Aloe Wildlife Estate on Saturday 24 June. Gavin Ryan/QuickPix Sean Merredew and Nadine Nunes are top scorers in the Sub Vet's categories, and Ewan Cochran and Natalie Bergstrom are strong names in the Veteran's category. The U23 supporters will be looking at names like Komborero Bere, Dean Wortman and Christie-Leigh Hearder.Aloe Trails, close to the Lion Park, is an exquisite venue owned by hosts Hennie and Erika, which caters to mountain bikers, runners and hikers alike. There is a variety of wildlife on the reserve to spot, and the aloe plants which surround the area are truly something to behold. There are fantastic ablution facilities available, and a great restaurant for those who need some replenishments after their ride. Those who are coming to either ride or support are reminded to please drive carefully on the Lion Park road, as there are animals that roam freely in the area. To see the overall KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series overall results, click here: http://www.kznmtb.co.za/downloads/results/category/14-2017-kzn-prov-series?download=173:2017-kzn-mtb-xco-series-overall-results Entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships are open. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1915
  5. The Batch A Podium at the KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series XCO on Saturday 3 June. Photo: Supplied After Marais, Henry Liebenberg and Sthembiso Masango (who is part of the SA National team that will be going to compete in the UCI MTB Marathon Championships in Germany this year) claimed second and third place in the batch respectively. Marais said: “Provincials are always a lot of fun. For me it was beneficial because we have a national cup here in two weeks so its good to get some racing done at this course before hand. It’s always just so good to race at home.” When chatting about the rest of the 2017 season, Marais said that his major focus would be on the last national cup as well as the SA National MTB Championships. It will be after these events that the team to be selected for the UCI MTB XCO World Championships will be decided. “It all hangs with that decision and I hope I crack the nod,” he added. The Batch B Podium at the KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series XCO on Saturday 3 June. Photo: Supplied Batch B was won by Change a Life's Sipho Kupiso, and teammate Ndumiso Dontso came across second, with Gareth Cook in third. The fastest female in B Batch was Tiffany Keep, despite having a nasty crash in the final rock garden section on the course. Kupiso said: “The race today was so much fun, and I really enjoyed the single tracks and rock gardens. I’ve been off the cross-country racing scene for a bit and this is my first time coming back. It was a great track. “I’ve been doing a lot of marathon racing, in particular the Absa Cape Epic, and then I decided to come and do this. I had such a great time out here today and am looking forward to KZN Champs.” Batch C saw Maritzburg College’s Johandre Marx claiming the first spot on the top of the podium, followed by Jordan Bold, and Kusaselihle Ngidi. The first woman over the line in Batch C was Beani Thies. She said: “I entered the race on Wednesday with full-blown flu. I actually didn't think I would race today. But who can say no to the awesome cross-country tracks at Cascades.” Sabine Thies placed first woman and fifth overall in Batch C at the KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series XCO on Saturday 3 June. Photo: Supplied Thies got to the start line and gave it her all, hoping for at least a top ten position. When she crossed the line in fifth place overall, she had surprised herself. “Nick Floros (course designer) always gives a surprise here and there and that is what I like. I just love riding at Cascades because I love a technical track,” she concluded. Summary of results from the third round of the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series XCO Batch A 1.Stuart Marais 1:10.03 2.Henry Liebenberg 1:12.42 3.Sthembiso Masango 1:14.54 4.Komborero Bere 1:16.34 5.Brennan Anderson 1:17.31 6.Dean Wortmann 1:18.35 7.Mboneni Ngqobo 1:18.49 8.Sean Merredew 1:19.20 9. Travis Stedman 1:19.38 10.Carl Calverley 1:20.27Batch B 1.Sipho Kupiso 1:22.03 2.Ndomiso Dontso 1:22.49 3.Gareth Cook 1:23.44 4.Scelo Mhlongo 1:25.34 5.Angus Mcleod 1:25.53 6.Mazwe Smimango 1:26.13 7.Bongumusa Zikhali 1:27.04 8.Duane Stander 1:29.45 9.Mitchel Potgieter 1:30.03 10.Richard Wyngaard 1:30.57 Batch C 1.Johandre Marx 1:08.07 2.Jordan Bold 1:08.23 3.Kusaselihle Ngidi 1:11.46 4.Jonathan Watts 1:15.52 5.Sabine Thies 1:16.12 6.Daniel Van der Watt 1:19.33 7.Chloe Bateson 1:19.50 8.Sean Westerdyk 1:20.18 9.Brodan Symons 1:20.21 10.Brian Martens 1:21.50
  6. Speaking in the short recess before his second timed run, Philogene said: “It’s a very tiring track and very physical and there is a lot more pedaling required in the new section they have added, which is part of the Enduro track. It makes it tiring on your legs, especially where you have to tuck down for more speed and hold the squat position. I’m feeling good and going to try and keep it smooth and consistent all the way down, but I am happy with how the first run went.” Top contender Tiaan Odendaal suffered a crash on his first timed run, which ruled him out of contention, and Christopher’s brother Jonathan Philogene posted the second-fastest time on the first run, but came unstuck on his second run. His successful first run however secured him an overall second place. The Overall Men's Podium: 1.Christopher Philogene, 2.Jonathan Philogene, 3.Struan McMaster, 4.Timothy Bentley, 5.Sharjah Jonsson, at the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Series at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 1 May Photo credit: Mylene Paynter. Struan McMaster was the third fastest after both runs, bettering his first run by five seconds in another sibling rivalry battle as his younger brother, Cullen McMaster was in fifth place after the first timed runs. “I started the morning getting my lines right and my first run was a little slow and I didn't push it too much. My second run I pushed it a bit and hit all my lines properly and I’m happy with the result. The Cascades course is amazing, it’s very close to what they race overseas, which is what we are all aiming for,” said Struan McMaster. When chatting about the brothers-in-arms in the top five, Struan quipped: “It’s not good when my brother beats me. It’s always good racing against the Philogenes though, they have some good racing over there.” Timothy Bentley (Elite) and Sharjah Jonsson (Junior) rounded out the Overall Men’s podium, posting times of 04:36.36 and 04:43.04 respectively. Youth woman Sabine Thies won the women’s race overall in a time of 05:45.84 on the technical track, with Sub veteran Kathryn Fourie claiming second place (06:16.63) and Veteran Dorette Crous rounding out the podium in 07:06.16. Relative newbie to Downhill racing, Crous shared her views on the technical race track. “It’s very physical and very pedally and you need to be quite fit to race here. I’m still learning quite a lot as I’ve only been racing this discipline for four months. It’s good fun and I’m enjoying it a lot. Upper body strength is required. A lot of people think downhill is coasting down a mountain. But especially on this course, I was really tired at half way and that is where the pedaling section only started. Fitness counts in a big way.” Overall Men’s winner in the Enduro race, which was the third and final round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL ENDURO SERIES on Sunday 30 April was Tiaan Odendaal, who managed to keep a rampant Sam Bull at bay after his recent return to Enduro racing after a serious knee injury. Odendaal claimed the victory by nine seconds. “It was a tough hill climb to the top, the stages were pretty cool and the last stage was nice and long. The first two stages were short and technical and the third stage was not too hard, nice and flowy. It was lots of fun and I’m happy with the win,” said Odendaal. Bull, who has been keeping spectators entertained with his commentary at previous Gravity events, chatted about his road from recovery and his second place overall. “At African Champs last year, I tore my ACL and MCL meniscus and had big knee surgery and a nine-month strict rehab programme to get back in action. That set me back. I just wanted to get back into riding again and had nothing to prove, so I’ve eased in gently this year. I wanted to make sure that my knee is fine and I’m enjoying being on the bike again. I love Cascades, the top two stages were proper Enduro stages and they required a lot of skill. Cascades is always fun – it’s a tough climb up but you’re always rewarded on the way down.” Women’s overall winner Sabine Thies (Youth) posted the fastest time in her category of 16:06, with Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) second (16:59) and Helen Squirrell third in 17:59. “Since Thursday we have been training on the tracks – I’ve never trained this hard for an Enduro so it was great. Stage one and two were the hardest, especially the steepness in stage one. Stage four was my ultimate favourite and I know that section very well. One of my friends came down from Joburg, Chris Pearton, and he was sort of coaching me through the stages during our practice, which helped me a lot.” KZNMTB extends gratitude to the series sponsors Dirt Merchant, Rush Sports and International Trade for their support in the Gravity Series. The next race event for KwaZulu-Natal mountain bikers will also be held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, and is the fourth round of the SA National Cup Series, which makes a turn past KwaZulu-Natal in June. The province’s riders will be out in force against their national peers. Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB ENDURO Round 3 – Sunday 30 April 2017Overall Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 12:29 2.Sam Bull (Senior) 12:38 3.Jonathan Philogene (Senior) 12:44 4.Keira Duncan (Junior) 12:52 5.Timothy Bentley (Senior) 12:53 Overall Women 1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 16:06 2.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 16:59 3.Helen Squirrell (Veteran) 17:59 4.Sonja Engelbrecht (Veteran) 18:11 5.Louise Kotze (Sub Veteran) 18:15 Senior Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal 12:29 2.Sam Bull 12:38 3.Jonathan Philogene 12:44 Sub Veteran Men 1.Craig Paul 13:09 2.Christopher Pearton 13:59 3.Mark Millar 14:52 Sub Veteran Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 16:59 2.Louise Kotze 18:15 3.Elja van Urk 19:39 Veteran Men 1.Keith Diederichs 14:13 2.Rory Grobler 14:22 3.Craig Seaward 14:45 Veteran Women 1.Helen Sqirrell 17:59 2.Sonja Engelbrecht 18:11 3.Nicola Nairn 23:02 Master Men 1.Alastair Brand 16:06 2.Clint Hattingh 16:43 3.Desmond Purchase 17:42 Junior Men 1.Keira Duncan 12:52 2.Sharjah Jonsson 13:06 3.Liam Read 15:04 Youth Men 1.Connor Finnis 14:03 2.Kayle Seaward 15:01 3.Brodan Symons 15:54 Youth Women 1.Sabine Thies 16:06 2.Charne Dreyer 18:20 Sub Junior Boys 1.Jordan Anastasis 16:41 Sprog Boys 1.Liam Tyler Hall 16:04 2.Nate Tanner Hall 16:41 3.Ross Kew 16:46 Sprog Girls 1.Georgia Finnis Nipper Boys 1.Vaughn Preston 19:31 2.Kade van Deventer 21:58 3.Cullum Finnis Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Round 3 – Monday 1 May 2017 Overall Men 1.Christopher Philogene (Elite) 04:27.99 2.Jonathan Philogene (Elite) 04:32.19 3.Struan McMaster (Elite) 04:33.09 4.Timothy Bentley (Elite) 04:36.36 5.Sharjah Jonsson (Junior) 04:43.04 Overall Women 1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 05:45.84 2.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 06:16.63 3.Dorette Crous (Veteran) 07:06.16 Elite Men 1.Christopher Philogene 04:27.99 2.Jonathan Philogene 04:32.19 3.Struan McMaster 04:33.09 Sub Veteran Men 1.Christopher Pearton 04:56.75 2.Shai Duke-Norris 05:09.22 3.Mark Millar 05:18.89 Sub Veteran Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 06:16.63 Veteran Men 1.Craig Seaward 05:16.54 2.Jason Hall 05:27.39 3.Tyrone Pinnoy 05:33.49 Veteran Women 1.Dorette Crous 07:06.16 Master Men 1.Alastair Brand 05:43.13 2.Desmond Purchase 06:19.93 Junior Men 1.Sharjah Jonsson 04:43.04 2.Cullen McMaster 04:46.05 3.Keira Duncan 04:54.20 Youth Men 1.Kayle Seaward 05:01.19 2.Connor Finnis 05:08.23 3.Jared Piek 05:45.84 Youth Women 1.Sabine Thies 05:45.84 Sub Junior Boys 1.Kyle Brand 05:55.06 2.Jordan Anastasis 06:16.86 Sprog Boys 1.Keagan Brand 05:42.94 2.Nate Tanner Hall 05:51.20 3.Liam Tyler Hall 05:55.48 Nipper Boys 1.Vaughn Preston 07:35.82 2.Cullum Finnis 08:55.10 Enduro Class 1.Brad Purchase 05:02.47 2.Andy Noble 05:40.41 3.Jacques Dreyer 05:43.49
  7. The 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup series kicks off with its first instalment taking place in the stunning forests of Hilton on Saturday 18 February. Click here to view the article
  8. MTB Marathon enthusiast, Stuart Marais, who claimed is first win of 2017 when he took part in the Wartburg Classic last weekend, looks forward to what else 2017 has in store for him. Stuart Marais is ready to take on the first cup of the season at the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB XCO Provincial in the forests of Hilton on Saturday 18 February Photo credit: Paul Botma Last year, Marais finished the Hilton leg of the KZNMTB XCO Series in second place in his age group, and third overall behind Elite Men’s winner, Brendon Davids and u23 Men’s winner Alan Hatherly. “There’s going to be a fresh new change-up this year – as many u23’s from last year will be moving into the Elite category,” he said. “Also, Brendon Davids has decided to focus more on road cycling and James Reid has retired. Nobody knows what’s going to happen out there so it’s going to pretty epic,” he added. Marais said that with Reid not in the equation, he currently stands as the third ranked South African cross-country rider in the country behind Philip Buys and Alan Hatherly, and 109th in the World, according to uci.ch . He is also a keen marathon rider, and described transitioning between the two disciplines. “The format of a lot of Marathon races this year has changed from a one-day-over-100km-race to a more split up race over two days,” he said. “This way, the cross-country riders are abler to keep up with the marathon riders when transitioning between the two disciplines. They don’t need as much endurance as was needed in the past. The marathon riders however find it a more challenging transition to switch to the cross-country discipline,” he added. Marais spoke of his major goals for the 2017 season, and said: “I am really hoping to go to Europe in May and take part in the Czech and German World Cups. There is also a race in Austria just before that that I would like to do as well. But 2017 SA National MTB Champs is one of my major goals – I’m hoping to do really well there and make it into the national team headed for Worlds in Australia this year.” The race this weekend takes place in the forests from the Hilton Christian Fellowship (HCF) Church and a wide selection of meals and refreshments will be available at the venue. Event Schedule: 7:00 – 11:30 (Registration and Late entries) 09:00 – C Batch 10:15 – B Batch 12:00 – Nipper and Sprogs 12:45 – A Batch Temperatures are set to rise to the early thirties on Saturday, with no rain predicted – a beautiful way to spend a summer’s day in KwaZulu-Natal. Online Pre-entries are closed, however late entries will be accepted on the day. For any more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde on 082 896 6864 or info@kznmtb.co.za.
  9. Tiaan Odendaal and Kathryn Fourie made it a double when they claimed the fastest times of the day in the Men and Women’s classes at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Both riders had secured the ENDURO Championship titles the day before after completing five stages at Cascades MTB Park. Click here to view the article
  10. The participants competed in two timed runs of the track, with only the second timed run counting for the Championship prize. For Tiaan Odendaal, the Elite Men's victory was sweet at a track that he has become very well accustomed to at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Paul Botma For Tiaan Odendaal, victory was sweet at a track that he has become very well accustomed to. However, the wind blew strongly on their first timed run, which resulted in tackling some sections a little more cautiously. “I didn't jump the table tops on my first run, as we saw David Hogan suffer a crash at that open section due to the strong crosswinds,” said Odendaal. “On my second run, I just went over them and luckily there was no wind to contend with. “It was a tough race, we raced the whole World Cup track from the top to the bottom. I wasn't so enthusiastic about the pedalling but we all had to do it. There was quite a bit of competition with the rest of the guys and with SA Champs coming up soon we’re all quite fit. Having done the Enduro yesterday, I could feel it in my legs today. I was quite tired, but the victory is sweet.” Being awarded second place overall and Junior KZN Downhill Champion, Christopher Philogene’s ramped-up exercise regime paid off at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Paul Botma Being awarded second place overall and first Junior rider home, Christopher Philogene’s ramped-up exercise regime is paying off. Working on his gym and strength fitness of late, Philogene has his eyes set on the World Champs in September and knows all to well that the European tracks require much greater physical strength. “I’m pretty stoked, I’ve been working hard on my training and this was a very long and pedally track, so I’ve been working hard for this,” said Chris. “It’s unlucky that I’ve been sick for the past two weeks but I would like to say thanks to Shane Martin, who has been helping me with my training. “And better luck to my brother because I think he could’ve had a good chance to take the overall title, but Tiaan rode very well today and well done to him. It was a great race.” Racing in the Sub Veteran category, course designer Nigel Hicks was chuffed with his provincial title at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Paul Botma Racing in the Sub Veteran category, course designer Nigel Hicks was chuffed with his provincial title. “It’s always an honour to win KZN Champs. We have a very strong Sub Vet class here. It was unfortunate that we didn't have the greatest turnout today. I’m also really bummed for Mark Millar on breaking his foot, and a lot of the competition was out of it. Still, it wasn’t and an easy coast down but I’m still stoked to take the KZN Champs and the Series title as well. All has been good for me this year!” Speaking about the last minute decision to revert to the familiar World Cup track in the week leading up to race day, Hicks said: “Nick Floros has created a super steep and super technical track on the hill here. Unfortunately, a late decision was made that it was just a little too tough for the youngsters and the women who usually race provincials. I really hope that we can use it for SA Champs in two weeks time. The decision hasn't been finalised yet, but we will hear from the Chief Commissaire soon. We really want to push the sport here for the advancement of Downhill racing.” The fastest woman of the day was Sub Veteran Kathryn Fourie, who had her work cut out for her with young Sub Junior Sabine “Beanie” Thies putting on a strong challenge for the title. The fastest woman of the day was Sub Veteran Kathryn Fourie, who had her work cut out for her at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Paul Botma “We’ve ridden that track a lot, so we’re all quite used to it and no one was really at a disadvantage,” said Fourie. “The only tricky part about today was the wind. As soon as we came out of the gully, there was this crosswind over the table tops so you lost all your speed in order to ride over the table tops, and then (with no momentum) pedal your backside off to get through the pedally section afterwards. I realised after my first run that the times between Beanie and I could be very close in the end, so I really gave it my all.” Thies, the second placed woman overall, said: “It didn't start off the way that I wanted it to. I got a few lines wrong in Pebble Beach and from there it went all right. The pedalling was rather hard, and my legs felt dead after the Enduro yesterday.” Newly crowned Sub Junior KZN Downhill Champion Sabine Thies at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Paul Botma After a successful three events each in the increasingly popular Enduro and Downhill Series races, as well as once-off Championship races in each discipline, presenting sponsor Greg Minnaar Cycles’ Travis Browning was well impressed with how the season unfolded. “Greg Minnaar Cycles has been very pleased with the Enduro and Downhill Cup Series for 2016. The execution of each event was flawless – from the organisers at KZN MTB, course designers, timing systems and finally the participation from riders themselves, it is great to see the depth of talent that is emerging from the KZN MTB scene in both the Enduro and Downhill disciplines. We most definitely have some future champions in the making! “With the majority of our staff being riders themselves, we got to enjoy the social aspect of these events as well as the spectacular trails that played host. I’d like to express a huge thank you to every rider, supporter and spectator that took part, to KZN MTB as well as BOS Sport for keeping our riders hydrated at each event.” Young Gabriel Archer, racing in the Nipper category, at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Paul Botma Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Championships – 3 July 2016 Overall Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal (Elite) 04:10.53 2.Christoper Philogene (Junior) 04:19.95 3.Jonathan Philogene (Elite) 04:22.07 4.Timothy Bentley (Elite) 04:23.34 5.Kelvin Purchase (Elite) 04:38.24Overall Women 1.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 05:45.10 2.Sabine Thies (Sub Junior) 05:50.21 3.Tammy Sturrock (Elite) 06:35.02 4.Lauren Hoyer (Elite) 06:45.78 Elite Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal 04:10.53 2.Jonathan Philogene 04:22.07 3.Timothy Bentley 04:23.34 Elite Women 1.Tammy Sturrock 06:35.02 2.Lauren Hoyer 06:45.78 Junior Men 1.Christoper Philogene 04:19.95 2.Cullen McMaster 04:55.50 Youth Men 1.Jason du Toit (Western Cape) 04:45.45 2.Keira Duncan 04:46.69 (KZN Champ) 3.Shaun Smale 04:59.00 4.Kayle Seaward 05:04.75 Sub Junior Boys 1.Kyle Brand 05:47.90 2.Robert Jessop 05:57.83 Sub Junior Girls 1.Sabine Thies 05:50.21 Sub Veteran Men 1.Nigel Hicks 04:58.43 2.Robert Klopper 05:26.87 3.Jacques Dreyer 05:27.29 Sub Veteran Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 05:45.10 Veteran Men 1.Craig Seaward 05:13.11 2.Alastair Brand 05:53.95 3.Kevin Crookes 05:59.93 Nipper Boys 1.Caleb Archer 08:22.92 2.Gabriel Archer 10:52.61 Sprog Boys 1.Nate Tanner Hall 06:03.68 2.Liam Tyler Hall 06:10.45 3.Keagan Brand 06:15.51
  11. Tiaan Odendaal, Kathryn Fourie and Cherie Redecker posted the fastest times in the Men and Women’s races respectively to claim the gold medals at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Click here to view the article
  12. Local rider Tiaan Odendaal was not deterred by the fact that the “top secret” stages were only revealed on race day. ENDURO route designer Mark Sydney’s approach of not revealing the routes in the lead up to the event was an effort to ensure fairness amongst all the riders, particularly to those who were not familiar with the myriad of trails that Cascades had to offer. The riders however, were able to practice the route in the morning before the racing started. Craig Paul, winner of the Sub Veteran Men's class at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied “I’m happy to take the win, but I honestly just came out here to have some fun today,” said Odendaal. “I’d probably say that stage five was my favourite because it was the shortest and there were no uphills. Stage one and stage three were quite cool as well; they were quite steep and technical.” With riders being able to tackle the first three stages in any order they choose, almost all of the riders opted to complete the first and third stages early on in order to avoid the long trek back up to the top of Cascades – stage two started lower down the hill with its finish far down the mountain. Sprog Boys winner Liam Tyler Hall at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied The second-fastest rider of the day, Tim Bentley, opted to stay at the back and start towards the end of the self-seeded queue in order to hit the trails when they were a little drier. “The top two stages we did in order so as not to waste our energy. That was a hard day; I won’t lie. There was a lot of pedalling in that Enduro. We did five stages and we normally do three or four, so it was tough. I knew the technical stuff really well so I gained all my time there but I lost a lot of time on the pedalling.” Overall Women’s winner to tie with Cherie Redecker, Kathryn Fourie, felt that getting through five stages went a lot quicker than she expected. The race involved riding their bikes to the very top of Cascades during the untimed liaison where they started stages one and three. Relative newcomer to the sport, Tammy Sturrock, at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied “There had been some chatter about keeping the trails secret and in the end it worked out better because everyone was at the same disadvantage,” said Fourie. “My approach was to get the two furthermost stages out of the way. I had to go a bit slower in some sections because I had a few close calls early on, but stage four and five were shorter and easy to get to and they were a lot of fun. “I feel stage one and three were my favourite. I really had a good day out and I think I tied with Cherie, which I’m happy about, because she is flipping quick!” Current SA National XCO Champion, Redecker enjoyed her day on the bike and agreed with the sentiments that five stages created a tough day out. “It was such a great change to set off at the start and to see everyone was so chilled and chatting and it’s not a mad rush to get going, as is the case with XCO. This is my second ever Enduro because I had done one previously in Namibia. It’s such a cool vibe because when you finish a stage, you meet up and ride with your group of mates back up to the next stage start. The climbs to the start of stage one and three ere tough, but there is chance to rest in between which adds to the fun.” Nipper winner Omar Wilson (10) has competed in four Enduro races and attests to their popularity saying that each one he has entered has been fantastic. Speaking of today’s Championship race, he said: “Stage one and two were fast and long, stage four I felt a bit tired, but stage five was my best. Everybody was on the last stage and they were all cheering and it was just brilliant.” Nipper Boys' winner Omar Wilson during stage two of five at the 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied When asked what he most enjoyed about Enduro racing, Wilson said: “I enjoy going up and then getting the payback on the downhill – you just chillax and its fast and fun on the downhill.” Relative newcomer to the sport, Tammy Sturrock, thoroughly enjoyed her fourth ever Enduro race. Having only started cycling two years ago, and competing in Enduro events since last year, Sturrock confirmed that fitness is required. “You definitely need fitness, which I didn't have this time. Next year I’m definitely going to plan a little more training. What’s nice about the Enduro is that you can ride with your boyfriend, you can ride with kids and it's a great way to get the families cycling. It’s great to meet up with all your friends afterwards and share stories over a beer or two.” Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Championships – 2 July 2016 Overall Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 17:27 2.Timothy Bentley (Senior) 17:43 3.David Hogan (Senior) 18:03 4.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 18:11 5.Keira Duncan (Youth) 18:44Overall Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39 1.Cherie Redecker 22:39 3.Sabine Thies 22:43 4.Tammy Sturrock 27:08 Senior Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal 17:27 2.Timothy Bentley 17:43 3.David Hogan 18:03 Senior Women 1.Cherie Redecker 22:39 2.Tammy Sturrock 27:08 3.Lauren Hoyer Junior Men 1.Christoper Philogene 19:02 2.Thomas Jessop 20:23 Youth Men 1.Keira Duncan 18:44 2.Kayle Seaward 19:56 3.Connor Finnis 20:00 Sub Junior Boys 1.Robert Jessop 23:02 2.Matthew Millward 25:56 3.Kyle Brand Sub Junior Girls 1.Sabine Thies 22:43 2.Charne Dreyer 27:21 Sub Veteran Men 1.Craig Paul 18:11 2.Craig Scott 19:15 3.Andy Noble 19:46 Sub Veteran Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39 Veteran Men 1.Patrick Morewood 19:20 2.Craig Seaward 19:53 3.Keith Diederichs 20:01 Master Men 1.Brian Magor 22:31 2.Michael Frost 22:46 Nipper Boys 1.Omar Wilson 24:23 Sprog Boys 1.Liam Tyler Hall 23:22 2.Nate Tanner Hall 23:28 3.Keagan Brand 25:18
  13. Downhill enthusiast, Mark Millar, is keen to hit the hills with horns when he competes in the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill and Enduro Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which takes place this weekend at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 2-3 July. Entries are still open and close at midnight tonight (Wednesday 29 June 2016). Click here to view the article
  14. Recovering from a bout of flu, Millar said, “I’m super keen to do the Downhill race of course, but in terms of the Enduro on the Saturday, I will have to make a call closer to the time as I am suffering with the flu, which isn’t ideal,” he said. Downhill enthusiast, Mark Millar, is keen to hit the hills with horns when he competes in the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill and Enduro Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which takes place this weekend at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 2-3 July.Photo Credit: Paul Botma Millar took the win at the final Downhill instalment of the KZNMTB Provincial Downhill and Enduro Series in the Sub-Vets Men category, ahead of good friend Nigel Hicks. “The competition between us is and always will be super friendly. We do it because we enjoy riding our bikes down hills. To be brutally honest both of us would love to win, but we’ll give it a go and see how it goes,” he said. When chatting about the track, Millar said: “Nige may have some advantage as he was Masters World Champion at that venue. I’ll definitely give it a go and see how it turns out. Regardless of what happens on the day, both of us will be sharing a beer at the end of it.” For Millar, the essence of Downhill racing is “a bunch of like-minded people coming together trying their hardest to go as fast as they can”. “Whether it be in top 10, or not in top 10, it’s about pushing yourself. Maybe it’s getting a corner set up right and going through it as fast as you can, or hitting a jump that you weren’t able to jump before. It all comes down to personal progression on a bike that will help you go faster and ride better.” Although there have been changes to the said Downhill track, the Enduro course is still a secret, according to track designer Mark Sydney. There will be no practicing permitted at all on the Enduro course on Friday. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in time penalties on race day. Practice is only allowed on race day (Saturday 2 July) from 08:00-10:30. A final decision was made on Monday to revert to the 2011 World Cup track for the Downhill Championship event due to logistical reasons. Downhill event organiser, Nigel Hicks, made the post on social media platforms asking other riders to spread the word about the track change as mentioned in our previous story. The track will be trail bike-friendly. The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730.
  15. Track designer, Nick Floros says that all procedures have been put in place to ensure that the brand new downhill course will bring exhilarating thrills for all of those involved. Floros explained the story behind the change: “Well the guys have been riding the same World Cup Downhill course for the past five years, so they begin to know every inch and every rock and it isn’t doing much to push them and improve their riding.” Floros described the course as “quite technical” and “much steeper” with off camber sections in the mix as well. “It’s completely different to the old one,” he added. Although the Championship event is aimed at the KwaZulu-Natal riders, Floros said that those from the other provinces should definitely get involved and come and ride the track. While seemingly more difficult, Floros ensured that the course is also catered to those not as experienced. “We have focused quite a bit on the Elites in order to challenge them more. However, having said that, for every obstacle there is on the course, there is an easier way around it.” He mentioned the importance of balance between the A and B lines in order to still get a good run in. “I’ve ridden the track on a trail bike, just to put it into context,” he concluded. The Enduro tracks are being taken care of by Mark Sydney, who has so much to say about this year’s Enduro Champs course, but won’t. “The thing is, most of the trails have all been ridden before in Cascades, and when the riders know where the tracks are, the locals in Pietermaritzburg get the ‘advantage’ of riding them in the week and weekends for practice,” he said. This way, Sydney felt that Pietermaritzburg locals wouldn’t have any advantage over other riders across the province, as there will be no information made available until just before the race. “Now, there’s no way that the course will be ‘over-practised’ on, and destroyed before the day of the event, so that the riders are able to have great trails ready for them.” Sydney was firm in his decision not to dispose or give away anything. “I could say that it’s similar to last year’s trails, I could say that it’s completely different, but I’m not going to. Let the riders come and see for themselves, and be surprised on the day,” he added. “We’re hoping to get a solid amount of entries, between 100-120, that would be fantastic,” Sydney concluded. The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730
  16. The KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles this year boasts a brand new downhill track, and will be taking place at Cascades MTB Park on 2 and 3 July. Click here to view the article
  17. Hoyer, who used to ride Cross-country races, explained his transition to the ‘dark side’: “I’ve been riding Downhill for close to eight years now. I used to be a keen cross country rider, and felt the need to better my technical skills on a bike. It was at this time that Nigel Hicks (who was dating my daughter Joanne) managed to organise me a second-hand downhill bike. I began to enjoy it more and more, and as my skills improved I bought myself a bike, and began to enter series events.” Men's Masters Downhill enthusiast, Peter Hoyer, is looking forward to the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar, which take place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Photo: Paul Botma When asked about the major difference between Cross-country and Downhill racing environments, Hoyer said: “In Downhill, every single person is there to have fun – there’s much less competitiveness and much more of a sense of community.” Hoyer felt that the need to share and help out fellow riders with lines and skills was more prominent in Downhill racing. “If you see a great line, you share it with your friends, and its more a case of helping others better their own technical skills and personal bests. In Cross-country, this isn’t always the case, and is often much more competitive,” he said. “In Cross-country, it often comes down to strength and fitness on the day. Downhill is adrenaline, its excitement, and its specific. The adrenaline factor is also one of the reasons why Downhill is so exciting” said Hoyer. Hoyer mentioned that he enjoys friendly competition, but is truly out there to have a great time, and to better his own riding performance. “I’m not particularly concerned about where I come in a race, I’m more interested in whether or not I can challenge myself and be better and quicker each time,” he said. Hoyer, who also enjoys Enduro racing, embraced the concept by saying: “It’s a great transition from Cross-country to Downhill. For those Cross-country riders interested in a more gravity-driven race, its definitely safer, friendly, non-threaten type of ride where you can go at your own pace. If there’s a section that scares you, go around it, you’re really only racing against yourself," he said. The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730
  18. The Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, which has played host to many national and international mountain biking events, will again host this year’s KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Men’s Master rider, Peter Hoyer, will be at the Championships in full force, ready to once again share the pure enjoyment of Downhill riding with the racing family. Click here to view the article
  19. Cascades MTB Park once again plays host to the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships this year, which take place in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 25 June. 2015 Junior KZN XCO Champion, Frances “Frankie” du Toit returns this year as a Pro-Elite in the under-23 category, hoping to put what she has learnt in her first year as an Elite into practice. Click here to view the article
  20. From riding in the Junior category last year, the biggest change for Du Toit, she feels, has been the number of laps. “With racing in the Elite category comes added pressure as well. At first it was difficult to race with the increased pressure but I'm learning to deal with it better at every race,” she added. 2015 SA Junior Women’s XCO National Champion, Frankie du Toit, is preparing for the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships, taking place at Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 25 June Photo credit: Paul Botma The Kargo Pro MTB Team rider is feeling great ahead of next weekend’s Provincial Championship, after taking the overall Women’s win at the Baynesfield Classic MTB at the weekend, and the Karkloof Classic victory the weekend before. The 19-year-old is eager to put her training to the test at the Provincials. “I feel good, we've changed a few things with my training and it seems to be working well. Well, it has worked in the marathons and longer distance races and I'm looking forward to see if it works with XCO racing,” she said. Looking back to just a year ago, Du Toit said: “Wow! I've changed a lot since a year ago. I've learnt many things, and not just about cycling; many life lessons too. But in terms of cycling, I've learnt through my experiences this year and especially from my teammates, like Alan Hatherly. One thing I have learnt is that being a professional cyclist is hard, but rewarding work.” Du Toit heads off to Bloemfontein this weekend to take part in the last round of the Stihl 2016 SA MTB Cup XCO Series, which will provide the necessary tweaking in the cross-country discipline before she tackles the Provincial Championships the following weekend. Entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships are open and close on Wednesday 22 June. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1734. Late entries will be accepted at Registration, with a nominal fee of R50. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.
  21. 2015 Elite Men's Champion, Tiaan Odendaal, will be back to defend his titles at the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Casacdes MTB Park on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Photo credit: Paul Botma Last year’s Elite Men’s and overall KZN DHI and Enduro Champion, Tiaan Odendaal, will be back to defend his titles this year. “I will be out in full-force. I’m doing both Enduro and Downhill but not focusing on a specific one, just racing my bike as much as I can and having fun while doing it. My main goal is to go and race overseas full-time,” he said. Although a predominantly Downhill-focused rider, Odendaal has recently struck a fancy to the Enduro discipline as well. “I’ve also received a huge amount of support from Brian Bentley on the Enduro side and I'd just like to say a massive thanks to him,” he said. Odendaal has taken no side in preference of the disciplines, and says that he would enjoy winning both, although tricky. He said: “Its a tough weekend, as many of the quick Downhill riders don’t do the Enduro, so they get to practice the day before and I don’t. They also aren't as fatigued as I am from the Enduro the day before, so it’s really tough but its good because it makes it a bit more challenging. I encourage the Downhill guys to try both.” Sub Veteran and Overall Women’s 2015 KZN Provincial DHI Championship winner, Kathryn Fourie, will also be making a return to the World Championship venue. “Obviously it's always really a good feeling to win and as a stand alone event, there is a good chance for those who haven't done as well in the Provincial Series to pull it all out of the bag at one event if they ride well,” she said. 2015 Overall Womens Downhill winner, Kathryn Fourie, hopes for a knock-out track at the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Casacdes MTB Park on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Photo credit: Paul Botma Elite Women’s Kim Westbrook, who won’t be competing this year, pipped Fourie at the overall women’s 2015 KZN Provincial Enduro Championship post. Westbrook and Joanne Hicks will be overseas during this time. “Ah, I’ll try my best to go my fastest but without Kim and Jo, quite a bit of the field will be missing unfortunately. “But Beani (Sabine Thies) will definitely be gunning to win KZN Champs and she has a really good chance of getting it, to be honest,’ she said. However, Fourie added: “Since it's likely that it will be an all-new track, said to be super steep, the challenge to learn a new track from scratch puts everyone at a disadvantage. At the very least, this evens the playing field.” The next event is the once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730
  22. The KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles take place at the world-renowned Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Although many riders choose to ride one or the other, some daredevils enjoy braving both disciplines over two days. Click here to view the article
  23. The KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships take place at the World Championship venue, Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 25 June. The once-off championship event will attract the province’s top cross-country mountain bikers as they compete for the most valuable provincial racing title in their respective classes. Click here to view the article
  24. The Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg prepares for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships on Saturday 25 June 2016. Photo: Dreyer Botma (Jowetts Cycles). Photo credit: Paul Botma Cross-country racing is mountain biking’s only Olympic discipline and the Provincial Championships is often what triggers the desire for the top-end riders to pursue their racing dreams to much greater heights. Megan Bircher (Team P.A.W) races at World Championship Venue, Cascades MTB Park, which will play host to the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 25 June. Photo credit: Paul Botma The acclaimed venue has hosted high-end racing events in the past, including the 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 UCI MTB World Cups and the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships, as well as the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships. Most recently, Cascades MTB Park has been the venue for the 2015 and 2016 editions of the PMB MTB Festival, which included the UCI HC (Hors Categorie) XCO races for the Pro-Elite Men and Women and formed part of the UCI Junior World Series for the Junior Men and Women. It is also the venue for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 SA MTB Masters Marathon Championships.KwaZulu-Natal-based and internationally renowned mountain bike route designer and designer of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games MTB course, Nick Floros, is in the plotting and planning stage of the Provincial Championship route and we look forward to sharing details of the route in the coming weeks. It will no doubt be a challenging course to be worthy of crowning a Champion on the day. Competitors have only one shot to become the Provincial Champion, which makes the unpredictability of cross-country mountain biking even more exciting for the riders and spectators. Entrance for spectators is free, and all are welcome to attend to watch some spectacular mountain bike racing. Event details:Date: 25 June 2016 Province: KwaZulu-Natal Location: Cascades MTB Park Entries Close: 22 June 2016 Starting Time: 08:00 Registration: Cascades MTB Park, 06:00- 11:00 Late Entries: Yes Timed By: Elite Timing ROAG Registration: No Event Website: http://www.kznmtb.co.za/ Entries are now open and close on Wednesday 22 June. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1734. Late entries will be accepted at Registration, with a nominal fee of R50. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.
  25. The weather could not have been more welcoming of a Provincial Downhill Cup, which also doubled this weekend as the fourth round of the 2016 SA DHI Cup Series, with valuable national points on offer. Elite and overall Men's winner, Jonathan Philogene flew to the top of the podium at the third and final round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on Sunday 22 May Photo credit: Andrew McFadden/BOOGS Photography The Elite and overall Men’s winner, was 2Bros Racing’s Jonathan Philogene. The 19-year-old was ecstatic to take the title, as well as managing to pulling off two “clean” runs, which he feels is not very often the case. “The race went well, the regional and national result meant a lot to me, I needed to do well at this round to meet the criteria for world champs selection, which is my ultimate goal for the year. So finishing first really did mean a lot to me,” he said. Philogene was able to share the excitement with 17-year-old brother, Christopher, after he took the Junior Men’s title on the day. Sub-Junior and overall Women’s winner, Sabine Thies, was over the moon at her double win at the weekend, having taken the overall women’s title in the Enduro on the Saturday as well. “I feel great. Its’ been a long time coming that I was going to win overall so I’m really happy,” she said. Thies (riding for Greg Minnaar Cycles / Pizzology Craft Café / Foxhead South Africa) spoke about her experience of the series: “The series overall went well. I had a few bad races but held it together until the end, so I’m really glad to take the series win. This Karkloof track is definitely my favourite, but St. Ives definitely gave this one a bit of a run for its money as well.” Sabine "Beani" Thies took the Sub Junior and the overall Women's victory at the third and final round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on Sunday 22 May Photo credit: Andrew McFadden/BOOGS Photography Sub Veteran Men’s winner, Mark Millar, was excited to take the win on the day, as well as the overall series title ahead of good friend and opponent, Nigel Hicks. “The series has gone pretty well – it’s been up and down,” said Millar. “Today went really well, to be honest. I came in this morning feeling a little bit nervous about the track. There are quite a few big jumps and I hadn’t ridden the track in quite a while so I was slightly nervous about hitting them. The first run down settled my nerves when I had a go,” he said. When chatting about his race runs, Millar said: “The first race run was rubbish because I crashed in the final corner. The only reason I held it together in the second run was because a couple of friends halfway down the track were up to no good with their usual tricks. I was actually about to give up but then I saw all of my friends misbehaving and encouraging me on the side-lines and then I got psyched again and carried on pedalling to keep it up until the end, where I managed to come home just a few seconds ahead of Nige’s time.” The next event is the once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, and takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730. Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Series #3 – 22 May 2016 Full results are available at www.elitetiming.co.zaOverall Men 1. Jonathan Philogene 02:37.65 2. Tiaan Odendaal 02:38.65 3. Christopher Philogene 02:41.74 4. Timothy Bentlry 02:43.57 5. Adi van der Merwe 02:47.60 Overall Women 1. Sabine Thies 03:34.95 2. Kathryn Fourie 03:46.30 3. Kim Westbrook 03:50.90 4. Joanne Hicks 04:04.40 5. Tammy Sturrock 04:11.74 Elite Men 1.Jonathan Philogene 02:37.65 2.Tiaan Odendaal 02:38.65 3.Timothy Bentley 02:43.57 Elite Women 1.Kim Westbrook 03:50.90 2.Tammy Sturrock 04:11.74 3.Lauren Hoyer 04:20.74 Junior Men 1.Christopher Philogene 02:41.74 2.Cullen McMaster 02:50.02 3.Francois du Toit 02:52.19 Youth Men 1.Jason du Toit 02:57.10 2.Shaun Smale 02:57.65 3.Kayle Seaward 03:36.07 Sub Junior Men 1.Robert Jessop 03:41.46 2.Kyle Brand 03:45.55 3.Maximillian Wolfson 03:48.37 Sub Junior Women 1.Sabine Thies 03:34.95 2.Charlotte Wolfson 05:17.44 Nipper Boys 1.Caleb Archer 05:50.07 2.Benjamin Wolfson 06:43.13 3.Gabriel Archer 09:28.29 Sprog Boys 1.Liam Tyler Hall 03:53.61 2.Nate Tanner Hall 03:56.77 3.Keagan Brand 04:00.57 Sub Veteran Men 1.Mark Millar 03:02.68 2.Nigel Hicks 03:05.34 3.Cyril Spence 03:07.31 Sub Veteran Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 03:46.30 2.Joanne Hicks 04:04.40 3.Nikki Alvin 04:20.61 Veteran Men 1.Craig Seaward 03:14.68 2.Thane Archer 03:19.58 3.Grant Dekker 03:26.00 Master Men 1.Peter Hoyer 04:09.11 2.Mark Minter 04:38.91
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